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Belmont County Dog Park almost completed

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — Belmont County Sheriff Dave Lucas hopes to officially open a new facility for pets and their owners to enjoy this spring.

Lucas gave an update on the Belmont County Dog Park to commissioners on Wednesday. He said progress has slowed over the winter, but he hopes to have a grand opening by spring of this year.

Lucas said all of the fencing and gates have been installed, and the concrete has been poured near the entrance of the dog park. He is currently working on the finishing touches, including signage.

Lucas said he is looking forward to the grand opening and hopes that it will be a big event.

“I’m working with someone who said they would help with the grand opening, so there’ll be some snacks there,” he said.

He said he wanted to thank the Belmont County commissioners along with Warden David Gray of Belmont Correctional Institution.

“Everyone’s been super,” he added.

Incarcerated individuals from Belmont Correctional Institution helped with a lot of the work, including installing the fence.

“Warden David Gray from the prison and his crew were phenomenal,” Lucas said.

Lucas noted that the prisoners also worked very quickly and finished the fence in about a week.

“Within a week, the fence was up and every post is in concrete. It’s unbelievable how perfect and straight the fence is. If it wasn’t for them and everybody else, we wouldn’t be here, but it’s for the people in the community in Belmont County,” he said.

Lucas told commissioners the dog park will be 155 square feet and will have two separate areas, one for small dogs and one for medium and large dogs.

He also said that the park will have benches, a pavilion, shade trees, fire hydrants and a new fence around the property.

Lucas said the Belmont County Sheriff’s Office previously received a $27,341 grant awarded by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources through the NatureWorks grant program. He said that funding will go toward the pavilion.

“We’ve already got the architectural plan done for the building. We have the permit. So we’re going to be in a stage now to get bids on the builder. Probably in spring, we’re going to break ground,” he said.

Lucas said the new pavilion will be about 20 feet by 20 feet. He explained that it will be located in the center of the park.

“You have your middle fence that separates the small dogs from the medium or large dogs, and we’re going to build that right in the middle of the fence. So people who bring their dogs, big dogs or little dogs, will be sitting down in the pavilion, but they’re going to be able to socialize and talk to each other,” he noted.

Lucas also said that many local residents are donating benches for the park. He said five benches are already at the park, and they are all dedicated in memory of a local resident.

“Except for a little bit more work — hard work — it’ll be done,” he said.

The dog park is located directly behind the Belmont County Health Department, which is situated off Ohio 331 between Interstate 70 and Bannock.

The Belmont County Dog Park is a collaborative project of the Belmont County commissioners, The Road Home Animal Project and the sheriff’s office.

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